Today’s learners live in a dynamic, technology-rich world where they are creators, producers, researchers, and thinkers. In order to fully engage with our students, the educational environment must mirror the world in which our students now live and will navigate in the future. Providing a personal computing device for every K-12 student will help create dynamic learning experiences for students and teachers. Students are more engaged in the learning process when it involves the use of technology and are able to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for success in higher education and the work force.
Students and parents/guardians should contact their school principal:
- North Allegheny Senior High School
Mr. John Kreider, Principal
- North Allegheny Intermediate
Ms. Caitlin Ewing, Principal
- Carson Middle School
Mrs. Katherine Jenkins, Principal
- Ingomar Middle School
Mr. David Deramo, Principal
- Marshall Middle School
Mr. Daniel Swoger, Principal
- Bradford Woods Elementary School
Ms. Jaime Vernocy, Principal
- Franklin Elementary School
Mr. Jeff Anderchak, Principal
- Hosack Elementary School
Dr. Amanda Mathieson, Principal
- Ingomar Elementary School
Dr. Tracie Michalowski, Principal
- Marshall Elementary School
Dr. Marc Thornton, Principal
- McKnight Elementary School
Dr. Christopher Shute, Principal
- Peebles Elementary School
Ms. Susie Bjalobok, Principal
If you have questions about curriculum, please contact:
Dr. Jillian Bichsel, Director of Curriculum, Assessment,
and Professional Development
If you have questions about technology policies, please contact:
Mr. Richard Platts, CETL, Director of Technology and Innovation
Some of the things that students will be able to do include:
- Accessing online versions of textbooks and other documents;
- Accessing web-based tools and using the Internet to complete research;
- Using dedicated software/applications to complete subject tasks (e.g. a mathematical graphing application, astronomy application);
- Creating audio and/or video presentations;
- Using Microsoft Office or Google Drive applications to create and edit documents;
- Downloading documents, such as homework and/or reading passages; and
- Using collaborative spaces to enhance communication among students and educators.
No doubt there will be many more applications that do not exist at present but will exist at some point in the future that will be used to further your child’s North Allegheny education.
All teachers have a laptop computer and/or iPad and the training to support its use as a learning tool. It is also important to realize that some subjects lend themselves more to the use of technology than others. As the initiative develops, the District recognizes that teachers will develop new strategies and skills to best determine when and how to use technology. The expectation is not to use the laptop computer as often as possible, but to use it when it enhances or improves the learning process. The District expects to see increased, appropriate use of technology from both teachers and students. Teachers and administrators will continue to participate in professional development to further their understanding of effective use of technology in teaching and learning.
Students will be expected to bring a fully-charged device to school each day. The use of devices in the classroom will be progressively implemented in the first years of the program.
Students and teachers have been using computers in each grade level for many years. Students and teachers are familiar with the devices and many of the software programs. Rather than taking computer classes to learn all of the features of a software program, the District philosophy is for students to learn software as it is needed to complete various projects. Teachers will build short lessons so that students feel comfortable creating projects and communicating with classmates using software. Students are also encouraged to collaborate with their peers and access resources on the internet to learn more about particular software applications.
Just as students are required to use classroom textbooks and print material, lab equipment, and other instructional resources, all students will need the laptop or iPad to be a successful and prepared participant in our school. Technology serves as an engaging tool to help students become career and college ready in the 21st century. Students may not opt out of the program.
An important component of the Focus 2020 Project is the equal access to technology resources it grants to all North Allegheny School District students in Grade 1 through Grade 12. While some students have computers and other digital devices at home, most students do not have the educational software programs that will be included on the school-issued devices..
Insurance is an option to preserve District resources and is based on the community Technology Advisory Committee’s research and recommendation. All of the school districts involved in a 1:1 initiative that were contacted by the committee indicated that they offered families the option of purchasing insurance to address accidental damage that may occur when students use devices on a daily basis. Some families prefer to pay a modest insurance fee to provide peace of mind should an accident occur. This insurance provides a financially-manageable fee associated with the repair or replacement of the device. We expect our students to regularly use their laptops and practice responsible ownership; however, it is realistic and sensible for the District to be prepared for some accidental damage to these devices.
The financial plan for the FOCUS 2020 project has always included offering families the opportunity to purchase insurance, so that was not factored into the taxation plans for the District. Parents may decline insurance if preferred.
Yes. Our students are competent and worthy of our trust; we trust that they will act responsibly and maturely with such important personal learning devices. Students will be responsible for the care, security and safety of the laptops. Schools that have implemented successful 1:1 programs typically report a deep sense of student technology ownership and stewardship. The same level of respect and ownership is difficult to develop with laptops that intermittently visit classrooms via shared laptop carts.
The laptop is the property of North Allegheny School District and on loan to students, just like textbooks and other learning materials. Students will be expected to care for the laptop as they would other district issued school supplies and materials.
No, students are to transport their devices to and from school daily as their device will become an integral learning tool both at home and in school. Students are expected to bring their device fully charged at the start of each day.
No. Use of laptops or iPads on the school bus is a safety hazard and not permitted.
Yes. The Technology Department and computer technicians will coordinate and provide maintenance on all laptop computers.
The District IT Department will be responsible for the repair of laptop computers and iPads. In the High Schools, it is the responsibility of students to contact the Computer Technician or Computer Lab Monitor when requesting repairs. Students can do this by stopping by the Help Desk at the High Schools or the Computer Labs in the Middle Schools.
There will be a limited number of laptop computers and iPads available for loan while a repair is being completed.
Students are responsible for the care and security of their digital devices. Students will carry the laptop computer in the padded sleeve, provided by the District. The size of the iPads and laptop computers lends themselves well to securing it in student lockers on a short-term basis.
Students should not store the laptop computer in a car for any extended length of time, particularly in hot or cold weather. If a laptop computer is left in a locked car for a short period of time, it should never be visible. It should be locked in the trunk of the car.
The laptop computers are equipped with an Ethernet card and wireless card. If parents have a home network, students can connect the laptop computer to the network through Ethernet cable or wireless network. While Internet District filtering will be enforced on the laptop regardless of location, parents are advised to monitor student Internet usage at home. Internet access at home is optional and not required. Student laptop computers are also able to connect to the Internet using open wireless networks in the community. Parents should determine appropriate use of open wireless networks with their student(s).
In the event a laptop or iPad is stolen, a police report should be immediately filed. If a family has opted to cover the device through the insurance program, and provides the school with the police incident number, the device will be replaced and the $25.00 deductible will be charged to the family. Any subsequent reports of stolen devices will not be covered by insurance.
If a device is lost or misplaced during the school day, the student should immediately report the device as missing to the principal.
What do I do if I must we are moving or I have to withdrawal my child from the District?
When a student is withdrawn from school the device and charger must be returned to North Allegheny School District. If the laptop/iPad and accessories are not returned, North Allegheny School District will contact the appropriate law enforcement authorities to recover the device.
How will the Focus 2020 initiative be evaluated?
The Focus 2020 initiative will be evaluated using many different instruments: surveys, classroom observations, focus groups with teachers, students, principals and parents, and classroom observations will be used to collect data. Data will be regularly analyzed to determine the effectiveness of implementation and progress toward the goals of Focus 2020.. A report will be provided annually to the school board and community summarizing the progress of the initiative. The Focus 2020 web site will also serve as a tool to track incremental progress of the initiative.
- North Allegheny Senior High School